Monday, December 5, 2011

Simple Holiday Tags - Cricut Art Philosophy

Making beautiful holiday tags couldn't be easier when using the CTMH Circut cartridge - Art Philosophy. Here's a new YouTube video from CTMH showing tags made with the Cricut and the MyAcrylix stamp set 'December 25th' (C1469 - $13.95). They're so adorable and really, really simple.

Here's a cute little tag I made with the Cricut cartridge and the 'A Holiday' stamp set (A1115 - $6.95). This stamp set is so versatile! I used it to create one of my holiday cards, I use it on Christmas envelopes, and I love making little gift cards with it, too.

Handmade gifts and cards are such a wonderful way to say "You're Special!" to the ones you love. If you've made your own gifts &/or cards this holiday season, please share them! E-mail me a photo and I'll create a slideshow so that everyone can enjoy, share, and learn from each other.

Have fun!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Photo Surprise Workshop

Here's the last workshop for my weekend at Purity Spring. It's a fun hidden photo slide layout from CTMH's most recent 'How To' layout book - "Magic". This layout uses a 4x6 photo, but the book includes templates for 6 different sizes. It's a great way to add "Wow" factor to your layouts -- and lots of fun, too!
Workshop will be Saturday morning at 10:30am and fee is just $5. Send me an e-mail if you'd like to pre-register (see profile info on right for e-mail address).

Purity Spring Workshops

Less than 10 days until I'm packing up for Purity. I can't wait! I really love the Purity Spring scrapping event and am putting the finishing touches on the workshops I'll be holding.

I'll be doing a couple of classes that I hope will introduce my friends at Purity to a few new techniques and give them a little sample of what can be done with the new CTMH Cricut cartridge - Art Philosophy. I will be doing a couple of wintery themed workshops (photos below) and also teaching a class to demonstrate an interactive technique from our 'Magic' layout book (photos coming soon!).

I have a limited number of spots available for these workshops, so if you're coming to Purity and see something you like, please e-mail me to pre-register.

Here are some photos of the two 'Holiday Jump Start' classes:

Festive Holiday Cards Workshop 12 cards & envelopes (4 each of 3 designs)
Saturday, 4:15pm - Cost: $20.00

Wintery Fold Out Box Album
Friday, 4:00pm - Cost: $15.00

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Getting Ready for Purity!

It's September and that means I'll soon be heading up to Purity Spring Resort for their awesome scrapbooking weekend the 14th-18th. Great people, terrific food and round-the-clock scrapbooking in our pjs -- what could be better?!

This year will be a little different since I'll actually be attending as a vendor for the first time. I'm really excited (and a little nervous) and I know it will be here before I know it! Luckily, my good friend, Susanna, and her mom, Elijean, came to visit this weekend and were willing and MORE THAN able helpers! They provided wonderful artistic inspiration and pumped out lots of piece work on the Cricut (I think I even heard someone mention 'union'! :) And beautiful Eliana kept us entertained!

(I think Abbie's saying "I didn't put her in there! I swear!!")

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Amazing Album-Amazing Artist!

I just have to share this incredible YouTube video with you! Tresa Black, an incredible artist and scrapbooker, created this album for the Make A Wish contest at convention this year. It is truly a work of art and needs to be shared! I hope you appreciate not only the quality of artwork, imagination and ingenuity, but also (and maybe most) the terrific story. It's a great one! Enjoy!!

For more creative inspiration, visit her blog at

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Croptopia Mom & Me Crop

What a fun time I had last weekend at Croptopia's Mom & Me crop in Orange, CT! The people were all so wonderful and the girls were a BLAST! They created some really amazing layouts, had a great time playing with the Cricut machines and entertained us all with their energy and humor.
I helped the girls create a cute little purse made with the 'Heartfelt Treasures' stamps set and a personalized notebook using the MyCreations Journal & Pennant Alphabet stamp set.
Thanks for a great time, ladies!

10 Things I Love About Paris

Tomorrow I am off to Paris to cat sit. That's right! My wonderful friends have invited me to stay in their home while they are away and watch their adorable kitten, Graffiti (isn't she adorable?).

With Paris on my mind, I just had to adapt the layout we made at CTMH Convention from "10 Things I Love About You" to "10 Things I Love About Paris".

Of course, there are so many more than 10, but here are the ones I picked:
1. Waiting for the Eiffel Tower lights to twinkle
2. My morning Cafe Créme and Croissant du Chocolate
3. Pont Alexandre III at sunset
4. Sail boats in Jardin Luxembourg
5. Street performers at Trocadero
6. People watching on Champs Elysees
7. Seeing Sacre Coeur on my way to the metro every morning
8. The Musée d'Orsay gallery
9. Book sellers along the Seine
10. The Prud'hommes!
This layout features 'Roxy' - it will be my featured Kit of the Month for August. The bling & envelope with tags are new products, as well as the '10 Things' stamp set. I always encourage my customers to "think outside the 'event' box" - meaning, scrap things that are important to you in your everyday life -- not just the big events. This stam
p set is a perfect prompt for that an a bargain at just $13.95!

What are YOUR '10 Things'?
All materials are Close To My Heart. Click here to order!
Stamps: 10 Things (C1474-$13.95)
Paper: Roxy (X7140B-$9.95)
Ink: Tulip, Black & Desert Sand
Accessories: 10 Things Pocket (Z1412-$3.95) & Bling Assortment (Z1466-$4.95)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cricut Art Philosophy

The most exciting announcement at convention was the exclusive CTMH Cricut Cartridge. I can't wait to get my hands on this little baby and start playing! It has over 700 images including shapes, 3D items, a font, and close to 100 images that coordinate with CTMH stamp sets! Hooray!! Now you can use your Cricut tocut your image out, then just stamp right onto the perfectly cut design!

The cartridge is bundled with 3 exclusive stamp sets to coordinate, as well as 3 Dimension
al Elements sets that also match perfectly with Cricut images. Perfect! (CTMH even thought to print the correct image cutting size right on your stamp cling sheet so you don't have to figure
it out!!)
The price for the whole collection is just $99. (Have a qualifying home or on-line gathering and get it for 50% off!!!) Click here to view the flyer.

Two of the Creative Classes at convention were on ideas for using the Cricut, so I thought I'd share a couple with you.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wow! Great Stamps at Great Prices!!

Oh my goodness... Just wait until you see all the exciting new stamp designs offered in the new Idea Book. They are truly unbelievable! And with the new LOWER PRICES (yes, you heard it!!) you can have all the ones you love!!

A size - 6.95
B size - $$9.95
C size - $13.95
D size - $17.95 ($5 lower!!)
E size - $29.95

I just loved this card when I happened to flip the catalog open to this page, but love the stamp set even more! You can change your wreath design to match the season. So cool!!

(Please excuse the quality! I'm rushing!! :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Trend Watcher - Bicycles!

In case you haven't noticed, bicycles are everywhere lately - and not just on the road. I've seen them on drinking glasses, stationery, tote bags, bookmarks and - last but not least - scrapbook pages and cards.
Bicycles just make you think of carefree, leisurely days filled with wholesome fun. Who couldn't use a little more of that? So add these trendy trikes freely to your birthday, vacation, picnic (or even biking!) cards and layouts and share a little of that wholesome fun!!
Here are some CTMH products to "get your wheels spinning".

Lucky Papers & MyStickease - 4.95 to 12.95

Retiring Paper Lines

It's always so exciting to see the new products rolled out with the release of the new Idea Book, but it's always a little sad to see some of the old ones we know and love phased out to make room for the new.
The Fall/Winter Idea Book will feature 8 new and exciting designs! In addition, the following lines from the Spring/Summer book will still be available: Sophia, Mayberry, Lucky & Fanfare.

Wings, Sweetheart, Bliss & Miracle paper lines will no longer be available after the Fall/Winter book is released on August 1st. I know many of you love these papers and have projects planned using them, so please be sure to place your
orders for these retiring lines by July 31st. (There may be a grace period granted, but if there is it will definitely be 'while supplies last').

E-mail me to place your order or submit it on-line.

July Campaign - Bang For Your Buck!

The Close To My Heart special for July is called Bang For Your Buck - - and you really DO get one!! Just purchase a minimum of $50 and you will get to select one of five sets for only $1. And don't forget - that will also qualify you for the Stamp of the Month set for only $11.48. That's 50% off!

For more details, please click on 'July Special' tab above or click here to place your order!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"It's America" Layout Challenge

I LOVE 4th of July celebrations! I love the picnics and fireworks and parades and the feeling that always comes over me at some point during the day of how truly blessed we are to live in this amazing country.
When I was in NY this weekend with my daughter, I heard a song that inspired a layout idea I can't wait to try. It's a Rodney Atkins song called "It's America" - here's the chorus:

It's a high school prom
It's a Springstein song
It's a welcome home parade
It's a man on the moon
And fireflies in June
Kids sellin lemonade
It's cities and farms
And open arms
One nation under God
It's America

So here's the challenge... Create a layout with photos from your family that represent life in America. What are some other things you can think of? Parades? Eating ice cream? Laying in a hammock? A family picnic? Take your camera with you this weekend and be mindful of the wonderful things all around us. When you see something great - click it! Leave a comment here with your ideas and when your layout is complete - go to my Facebook Page and post it!

I plan to use the Fanfare papers to create my layout. They have such great, patriotic colors and are very "America"! :) Click here to see the Fanfare products & order yours!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Trees & Things

Hi everyone!
It's been a whirlwind here lately - my daughter, Chelsea, graduated from college and my son, Jake, graduated from high school ON THE SAME DAY (you can only imagine!). We left two days later for a 2 week vacation - - but not before finding an apartment for Chelsea in NYC. Yes indeedy! My head is spinning! But it's all great and has been a lot of fun!

I just love the parks in NY and plan to spend a lot of time in them when visiting Chelsea - Shakespeare in the Park, farmers markets, picnics by the lake, people watching.... The CTMH stamp set - Trees & Things - will be perfect for embellishing these photo layouts, as well as our old fishing trips, camping and hikes. And CTMH has just come out with a new YouTube video that gave me lots of extra inspiration for using this great set. I hope it helps get your creative juices flowing, too! I'm ordering mine tomorrow. Click here to order yours, too!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Keeping the Memories

I just love the YouTube video CTMH created to introduce Studio J! It really touches on a great point... you have tons of digital photos on your computer, but will these really tell your story to your children, grandchildren and beyond? Remember how much you loved flipping through your parent's photo albums and reminiscing? Because they were using film, they had fewer photos that captured the moments than we do. Will paging through hundreds of photos on a computer screen really deliver the same feel as we had when we curled up in a chair with an album?

And what about the story? Even those of us who scrapbook often leave out the most important part of the page - journaling. We don't like our handwriting, or don't know where to add it, or don't have the right color marker - - the excuses are endless. One of my favorite parts about Studio J is it has built-in journaling blocks that make it super easy to add a few lines describing the event. Just click the 'scale font' box and it will even allow you to write as little or as much as you'd like and automatically size the text to fit. Perfect!!

Many of us have wonderful intentions, but time is not always on our side and before we know it, we're years behind on our scrapping. Don't become your own worst enemy!! Studio J is such a simple way to stay ahead of the game (or to do a little 'catching up'). Even if you're a hard-core 'traditionalist', isn't having something better than nothing?

So watch this video and let me know if it inspires you to tell your story and 'keep the memories'. It worked for me! Scroll down and check out the layout I did the other night (while I'm still on vacation!! :)

This is one of the layouts I've completed already! I did one while waiting for my turn in the bathroom, another one when the rest of the family decided to sleep in one day. Amazing! It will feel so great to have a big chunk of my photos scrapped before I even get back home... Give it a whirl! Don't forget - - during the month of June CTMH is gifting everyone a free JPG file absolutely free. It's a great time to try it and you'll see what a wonderful tool it really is. Contact me if you have any questions.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Last Week for "You & Me" Kit!

Don't miss out on the beautiful 'You & Me' kit Close To My Heart has designed for National Scrapbooking Month! This gorgeous kit includes paper, embellishments and a super versatile stamp set for just $34.95. BUT... with a purchase of $50 or more, the entire kit costs only $15!!

So place your order today. The kit is only available for purchase through Tuesday, May 31st.

Monday, May 2, 2011

H2H Challenge - May 2nd

Happy May!! It's so nice to finally have the threat of snow behind us and start enjoying the breeze from open windows, the smell of fresh mulch and the happy faces of pansies and daffodils. Hurray!!
The wonderful team at the Heart 2 Heart Challenge blog is encouraging us to design something lovely for the Moms in our lives. This was great motivation for me to use the CTMH Mix & Mingle album to create a wall hanging -- what Mom wouldn't want a constant reminder that she's loved hanging in her favorite room? I know I would!! Just pop in a couple favorite pics and have a perfect gift made from the heart.
I wish all the moms out there a very happy and love-filled Mothers' Day. You do so much for everyone in your life -- enjoy this special day designed just for YOU! xo
All materials are Close To My Heart. Click here to order!
Stamps: Miracle Workshops On The Go stamp set, Chocolate Alphabet-Small, Salutation Seals
Paper: Miracle papers and CS
Ink: Twilight, Sweet Leaf, Bamboo, Chocolate
Accessories: Mix & Mingle Album, Miracle Irresistibles, Pearl Opagues, Creme Brulee grosgrain ribbon, White Organdy ribbon.

Monday, April 18, 2011

H2H Challenge - Apr 18th

Happy Spring!! The wonderful team at H2H Challenge blog has decided to do their first blog hop. They're calling it a Bunny Hop and it will feature projects with Easter or Spring themes. Well, I decided that a Bunny Hop project would just have to include - what else?? - a bunny! What says Easter or Spring better than cute little bunny rabbits?
I'm so excited to see how the H2H Bunny Hop works and am very happy to be participating. I can't wait to see what all the talented people out there create. Be sure to visit them all!

All materials are Close To My Heart. Click here to order!
Stamps: March SOTM - Sensational Season
Paper: Sophia papers and CS
Ink: Chocolate, Pear, Tulip
Accessories: Pink Button Collection, White Waxy Flax

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

H2H Challenge - Mar 7th

This week's challenge at Heart 2 Heart Challenge Blog is to create a scene using 3 different stamps. Wow! This really was a challenge, but it was SO much fun! I had started out wanting to do somethingwith my rainbow stamps and create a card for St. Patrick's Day, but just couldn't quite get what I was looking for. Maybe the lack of creative juices stemmed from the fact that I couldn't really get excited about a St. Patty's card...? I'm not sure, but it wasn't happening!
Anyway, I knew I wanted to use the cloud toput my sentiment on and was using the masking technique to try to make the rainbow come thru the cloud and have the sun behind it when inspiration struck! Ah-Ha!! Perfect time for a clear card!! So the moral of the story is, whenever you're making a card and think 'masking technique', try thinking 'clear card' instead. Let me know if it works for you!

All materials are Close To My Heart. Click here to order!
Stamps: Over the Rainbow, Month of March, Month of April, Doodle Alphabet, Card Chatter-Birthday
Paper: Cherry-0, Sweet Leaf CS, White Daisy CS
Ink: Vineyard Berry, Pacifica, Sweet Leaf, Sunflower, Gypsy
Accessories: Clear Cards, Splendor Designer Brads

Friday, March 4, 2011

Kraft Backgrounds & Borders

Using kraft colored papers and accessories is the trick to adding charm, toning down bright colors, or bringing an artsy flair to your projects. Using white or black can sometimes create too much of a contrast - kraft is the perfect alternative! Close To My Heart is now offering kraft cardstock for your page and card backgrounds and a package of 24 sheets is only $9.50. And I'm SO excited about their newest accessory - Kraft Borders. These are the perfect embellishment to add a unique touch to your layouts and cards. The pack includes 50 assorted, 12", adhesive backed borders and cost just $5.95!! Check out this great CTMH video then click here to order yours today! :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

H2H Challenge - Feb 28th

Wow! I love color challenges because they show us so many great combinations that we wouldn't normally have thought of. I'm not a huge fan of purple, but just love how the CTMH Gypsy color looks when mixed with Creme Bruele and Black.
Gorgeous! Thanks, H2H, for once again pushing us outside our comfort zone.
All materials are Close To My Heart. Click here to order!
Stamps: Delightful Things, Card Chatter-Birthday
Paper: Black, Gypsy & Creme Brulee CS
Ink: Black, Gypsy
Accessories: Black Opaques

Monday, February 21, 2011

H2H Challenge - Feb 21st

Well, a week has flown by and I'm posting again thanks to the fun challenge posted at the Heart 2 Heart Challenge blog.
This week's challenge is to design something that makes you think COLD. I've been having fun this week working with my rubber brayer to create skyscapes and this was a perfect challenge to create something against a chilly, winter sky. The color in my photo isn't quite true - - it's actually a very rich midnight blue - - but I think you'll get the idea.
All materials are Close To My Heart. Click here to order!
Stamps: Nature's Gift
Paper: Outdoor Denim CS, Sky CS
Ink: Black, Outdoor Denim, Versamark
Accessories: Sparkles, Clear Embossing Powder

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

H2H Challenge - Feb 14th

Happy Valentine's Day!
This week's challenge at the Heart 2 Heart challenge blog is to create something that incorporates hearts. I was lucky enough to have my daughter's entire hockey team (20!) stay with us this weekend - what a great group of girls!! I love Valentine's Day and wanted to make them a little something, so this is what I came up with.

The heart boxes came from Michael's and are made of kraft paper. I painted the bottoms red and the tops pink, using basic craft paint with some CTMH Pearl Paint mixed in for a little shimmer. The heart stamp on the box is from the December SOTM, 'Amore', backed with a White Daisy flower. The glitter dots on the border are made with CTMH Glitz Glitter Gel. I filled the boxes with Hershey's Extra Smooth Chocolate Hearts. Mmmmmmm! :)

The candy tubes are an idea I got at Karen Pederson's blog. Aren't they cute? They're filled with M&Ms & the heart on the circle tag was included in one of the exclusive stamp sets I received at Convention last year. (This year it's in Anaheim at the Disney hotel!! I can't wait!!)

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to post your own creation at the H2H Challenge Blog - it's so much fun!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February Gathering Projects

What a fun morning I had in my craft room, preparing new projects for some gatherings I have coming up! I'll be doing one for my friends from my old neighborhood & am really looking forward to teaching them a little about scrapbooking, then spending the rest of the night gabbing and solving the world's problems (we're really good at that - just ask us!! *Ü*). I miss seeing them every day! I'm also doing one for my friend, Laura, and her friends & family. She loves the Wings paper, so I know she'll enjoy making these projects.

I love making sample art for my Workshop On The Go workshops, but it's so nice to start with a blank (well, almost! :) slate and just create. Working with the Wings papers is so fun - the colors are vibrant and the designs are really unique. Projects practically create themselves!

Using one of my favorite layouts designs, 'Creative Rhythm' from the Cherish layout book, I made this layout then added some embellishments using the Stamp of the Month for February, 'Friendship'. The stamps in this set are so versatile! As you can see, I stamped one of the larger flower designs twice to create the butterfly and stamped the smallest one across the thin strip of Vineyard Berry cardstock. They're also great for creating background designs - - try stamping them on a darker cardstock with Versamark ink for a very subtle, classy result!

With my scraps ('Don't collect it - Use it!'), I then created this card which is a variation of one created by Lynn Como. Take a good look at the subtle background behind the sentiment... When I teach classes, I always remind people that "there are no mistakes, just happy accidents". Well, this is a perfect example! I had tried using Vineyard Berry ink first, but didn't really like how it came out. I thought I had cleaned my stamp before changing to Juniper, but apparently hadn't :{ Because I was using the 3rd generation stamping technique, there wasn't very much VB left on there anyway, but it created just a hint of red in the design which actually enhanced the soft, watercolor effect and looked great! I just hope I can recreate it at my gatherings!!

All products used are Close To My Heart. Click here to order!
Paper: Wings, Vineyard Berry Cardstock
Stamps: Friendship
Inks: Juniper; Vineyard Berry; Black
Accessories: Pearl & Black Opaques

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

H2H Challenge - Feb 7th

What an appropriate challenge for Valentine's Day -- Kissing!! Isn't that fun? 'Kissing' is a stamping technique used to transfer one stamp image to another. If you want to watch a terrific YouTube video demonstrating this technique, just click here.
Inspired by CTMH's beautiful new Bohemian alphabet, I wanted to try adding patterns or images to other alphabet stamps. In this project, I used the Rustic alphabet and a small heart image from the Over the Rainbow stamp set. To create the pattern, I inked each letter with Blush ink, placed the block on my work mat ink side up, applied Vineyard Berry to the heart stamp and stamped it carefully onto the letter. I repeated this multiple times, then stamped the letter.

Check out the Heart 2 Heart challenge page for more wonderful ideas using this fun, creative technique. Thanks for stopping by and have fun kissing! xx
All products used are Close To My Heart. Click here to order!
Paper: Black & Colonial White Card Stock
Stamps: Rustic Alphabet; Over The Rainbow; Amore
Inks: Vineyard Berry; Blush; Black
Accessories: White Organdy ribbon

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

H2H Challenge - Jan 31st

I loved the sketch for this week's H2H Challenge! I was thinking of doing some type of medallions or flowers down the side, but since we're getting walloped with yet ANOTHER snow storm, well... We can't fight it, so might as well embrace it, right??

Here's the H2H sketch I was working from. Hop on over there and try one yourself!! Thanks for checking out my blog!!
All materials are Close To My Heart. Click here to order!
Stamps: Snow Flurries; Unity
Paper: Magnifique
Ink: Colonial White; Pacifica
Embellishments: Organdy White Daisy Ribbon; Sparkles

Get Sketchy #72

This Friday's Get Sketchy design was a lot of fun to work with. I don't usually vary from the standard 4.25x5.5 card size, but this challenge inspired me to break out of that habit. That's what these challenges are all about - - pushing you out of your comfort zone!
The ribbon border around the stamped flower was a new technique for me, too. I punched out a circle and put adhesive around the perimeter, then worked the ribbon around the edge, gathering it as I went. This is definitely something I'll try again!

Here's is the Get Sketchy design I was working from:
All materials are Close To My Heart. Click here to order!
Stamp: Delightful Things
Paper: Veranda
Ink: Tulip, Juniper
Embellishments: Organdy Ribbon with Satin Trim, Juniper Brad, Juniper Bitty Brads